Preview & Chat: The Utah Jazz

Darius Soriano —  February 4, 2012 — 163 Comments

Records: Lakers 14-9 (5th in West), Jazz 12-9 (7th in West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 103.7 (15th in NBA), Jazz 105.2 (8th in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 100.4 (10th in NBA), Jazz 105.1 (22nd in NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Jazz: Jamaal Tinsley, Josh Howard, Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson
Injuries: Lakers: Steve Blake (out), Derrick Caracter (out); Jazz: Devin Harris (questionable), Raja Bell (questionable), Earl Watson (doubtful)

The Lakers Coming in: So far, so good for the Lakers on their road trip. The Denver game was closer than many would have liked (including, I’m sure, Mike Brown and his players) and the refereeing down the stretch throughout the game left a lot to be desired (from both teams’ perspectives) but the Lakers pulled out the win with a defensive stand with two of their most maligned players being the guys that were key in stopping their men. And while there are still things that the Lakers can be better at, the game provided a solid foundation for future contests and can be used as a building block for the rest of the roadie.

Moving away from the team and the road trip to the individual level, Andrew Goudelock deserves special recognition. Over the past 5 games he’s failed to reach double figures in scoring only once and has averaged nearly 12 points a game on 52% shooting. His ability to make the three point shot (9-17 in that stretch) has provided critical spacing for this team while also making him enough of an outside threat that he must be closed out on, which then opens up his penetration game. Once he gets into the paint, he’s flashed a fantastic floater that allows him to finish at a high enough rate that he maintains his status as threat in three levels of the court (behind the arc, in the long two point range, and in the mid-range). He’s even showing more comfort initiating the Lakers sets and getting guys organized. He still has a ways to go before he’s a point guard in the classic sense of the position, but even if his improvement in that area is only marginal it doesn’t much matter if he’s still making shots; it’s obvious he’s in the game to score and, so far, that’s exactly what he’s doing.

The Jazz Coming in: The Jazz have been bit by the injury bug of late, watching their top two point guards suffer some minor injuries that have kept them out of games. Both Devin Harris and Earl Watson came up lame against the Clippers on Wednesday and both missed Thursday’s game against the Warriors. Their absence contributed to the Jazz dropping that game versus the Dubs and with their status up in the air for tonight’s game (Harris is questionable and Watson is doubtful), the Jazz could again be without their primary lead guards.

Missing those back court players is an issue but it’s more than partially made up for with the play of the Jazz’s bruising front court rotation. Starters Millsap and Jefferson are both having great years, with Millsap’s production especially eye popping as he’s raised his efficiency (top 10 player in PER) while scoring and rebounding at a high level when factoring in his minutes. When those starters go to the bench, the Jazz bring in Derrick Favors and rookie Enes Canter who are both improving as the season progresses. They both clean the glass, play physical defense, and can score when set up in positions where they can play to their strengths. It’s on the backs of these front court players that have the Jazz as one of the West’s eight playoff teams and performing above where many thought they’d be this season.

Jazz Blogs: Check out Salt City Hoops for all your Jazz news and analysis.

Keys to game: It’s strength on strength tonight as the aforementioned Jazz bigs tango with the Lakers front line that’s anchored by Pau and ‘Drew. And like the Nuggets last night, this will be the 3rd time these teams face off so we have a bit of history to shape our perspective coming into this match up. Some of the trends from the first two games (both Lakers wins):

  • Kobe’s scoring has been big as he went for 26 and 40 points in the first two games respectively.
  • Bynum missed the first contest due to his early season suspension, but in the 2nd game he was only average on offense (12 points on 5-13 shooting) and was decent on the boards. Meanwhile, Gasol came up big in game one, but was only average in the 2nd game (which also happened to be the game that Kobe went for 40).
  • On the Jazz side, Al Jefferson has really struggled with L.A.’s length on defense. He’s scored a total of 15 points on 7 for 33 shooting while only taking 2 free throws.
  • Millsap, on the other hand, has taken it to the Lakers. He’s put up 18 and 29 points in the two match ups, using his face up game and quickness around the hoop to get the shots he wants and covert them at a high rate.
  • The battle of boards has been even in both contests with both teams grabbing 46 total rebounds in both games.
  • One area where the Lakers have been better than their season averages is in shooting the 3 point shot, making 10 of their 25 attempts from deep over the two games.

Using these trends as a guide, we get a good idea of what the Lakers can do to win tonight, even though they’re sure to be tired after a hard fought game last night in Denver.

On offense, the Lakers must utilize Kobe and get him going as the Jazz don’t have a defender that can really slow him effectively. Coming off a rough shooting night where he saw constant double teams, Kobe should be able to get cleaner looks against a Jazz team that won’t be as quick to send a second defender Bean’s way. Running Kobe off screens and utilizing him in the post a bit more can get him good looks where should be able to convert.

Beyond Kobe, though, the Lakers must also go into Bynum to make Al Jefferson defend on the block. Bynum’s been a force on offense against most teams and even though he struggled in his last game against this team, he missed several bunnies near the hoop that he should convert at a higher rate should he get those same looks tonight. As for Pau, Millsap will give him some trouble as he’s quick enough to deny Pau his drives to the rim but is also deceptively long and will challenge Pau’s jumper. So, I’d like to see Pau get more touches on the left block so he can work his post moves more rather than settling for the jumper or trying to work off the dribble as much.

Defensively, a lot of the Lakers play will come down if Harris plays as he’s the player that can hurt their D by attacking off the dribble, forcing help, and opening up his teammates for open jumpers and lanes to the rim for offensive rebounding chances. If Harris does go, the Lakers will need to try to deny his driving lanes and show good help and recover skills to deny outside shots while still protecting their backboard. If Harris doesn’t play, the Lakers can focus more on defending the Jazz bigs and shift their perimeter focus to slowing Hayward, Miles, Howard, and rookie Alec Burks. If Bynum can continue to slow Jefferson and Pau can do a better job of keeping Millsap from going off by better contesting his jumper and keeping him off the offensive glass, the Lakers should control the paint, and thus the game.

All that said, accomplishing these things will come down to effort and we’ll see if the Lakers have the energy to do so. Playing back to back in Denver then Utah offers a challenge due to the challenging crowd and the elevation that also exists in Salt Lake. So, we’ll see if Lakers can gather their legs and bring the needed energy.

Where you can watch: 6:00pm start time on KCAL. Also listen at ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

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163 responses to Preview & Chat: The Utah Jazz

  1. Re: GLock
    Mike Brown was actually quoted saying the best thing GLock does for us is not shoot…. But organize and start the offense via pick and rolls as he said GLock is the only PG on our team that can do that. So for all the great shooting we all see from him… It’s actually his ability to run the pick and roll that Mike Brown loves. Of course shot making is a big part of running a pick and roll and thus an entire offense Mike… But I see what you’re saying.

    Re: Bynum
    As you mentioned Bynum was average on offense when these teams last met. Of course this was when teams first started swarming Andrew on defense. It looks like with added conditioning and more time facing collapsing defenses Drew has already learned how to attack them. We will see if this continues.

  2. “It’s actually his ability to run the pick and roll that Mike Brown loves.”

    Ramon Sessions! ;-

    As to Bynum, I think it was more that Karl was doubling Kobe a lot and that Nene has short arms. But we’ll see.

  3. I would like to add that on a night Bynum was 10 for 13 from the field while being constantly double teamed the Lakers two min offense to med the game completely forgot about him. And when I say Bynum was 10 for 13 I guess we should say 10 for 11 as one miss came on a buzzer beating three point attempt (almost went in) and another came on the infamous dunk attempt where his arm was almost taken off. The moral of the story is this… While I agree the last five min of games should be Kobe time… It can’t just be Kobe.

    Sorry. One Bynum dominated not because Kobe was doubled and two… Nene didn’t guard Drew very often as he starts at PF.

  4. Sorry. One Bynum dominated not because Kobe was doubled and two… Nene didn’t guard Drew very often as he starts at PF.


    I usually agree with you, but assertions aren’t facts–like I demonstrated when you asserted that Griffin carrying the Clippers. You were wrong on that, and you’re wrong on this. Kobe was doubled quite a bit, and while Nene starts at PF, Mozgov plays limited minutes, and, as you forget to mention, got hurt early in the 3rd.

    Also, Bynum has now trashed Denver three straight times–they just can’t handle him. Karl even said as much after the game. The Lakers won this time because:

    Kobe passed well
    MWP D’ed up Gallinari
    Goudelock scored off the pine
    Denver was gassed

    I like Bynum too, but this game doesn’t indicate anything about him and Howard big-picture.

  5. Koufos went 16, so him and Mozgov played 23. Nene OTOH went 31 and Harrington went 37.

  6. UPDATE: The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that Devin Harris will try to play after participating in shoot around. Earl Watson has also said he’d try to play though his injured ankle may still keep him out.

  7. Lakers should have heavy legs so have to take good shots limit run-outs. Metta & Kobe have to keep helping on the boards.

    Kobe has to resist to take over early after a subpar shooting night. Stay with the winning formula get the bigs going early. I see a big game from Pau on O.

  8. Should be “he” not “him.”

  9. . Bynum scored most of his points in the first half before Mosgov went down. He also only scored I think 4 of his 20 plus points against Nene. When you’re flat out wrong I am not afraid to tell you :)In this case you’re flat out wrong. Kobe got trapped in some pick and roll situations which is a main way to defend pick amd rolls.That isn’t called getting double teamed. To even state Drew dominated because of Kobe last night is to flat out lie or an example of someone that doesn’t fully understand the game of basketball. No offense. Most times you have genuin good opinions.

  10. Aaron: I guess u and I are similar on the diff between AB and D12, however u are just more optimistic towards AB. There are a bunch of ifs there: If AB keeps developing; If he learns to handle the double; If his health is as good as D12 from this point. If he gets a little tougher, etc. etc. If YOU refuse to trade AB+PG – it is a moot point – I guess we stick with AB : )

  11. 10)
    We agree 100 percent. Too many ifs to say Bynum is as good as Howard. But I don’t think one of them is dealing with double teams anymore. He already does that as good as Dwight. He also gets doubled more than Dwight which is weird. Cause with that second unit the Lakers have better shooters around Drew than the Magic have around Dwight. I also disagree with you on the Drew’s toughness. That’s the only thing people around the country think Drew has over Dwight. Drew has a mean streak and a thirst to win that Dwight just doesn’t show. Maybe he has it. But he doesmt show it.

  12. Aaron: Ok then – ur point on the doubles shows how pitiful r perimeter shooters r. This is prob somewhere in the archive, however please tell us ur dream scenario. Meaning, are u a “stay the course optimist”; are you a D12 zealot like me, are u a blow it up and start over party member, or do u have another secret plan? Based on what I have read from u, I am guessing u r basically a stay the course optimist, however u seem 2 anlaytical for that, and should have drawn other conclusions by now : )

  13. with goudelock showing he’s got a scoring touch, has he worked his way into a back-up shooting guard spot behind kobe when blake comes back?

    i dont see anyone else backing up kobe whe. blake comes back and i’d still have Blake initiating offense than Goudelock. i dont know much about Goudelock besides they past few games, but was he more of a 2 in college?

  14. I think goudelock has earned his minutes as Kobe backup. he’s fearless and brings a spark off the bench.

    As it pertains to Bynum consistency is his only problem. He’s already miles ahead of D12 on offense, more size, same experience. He has the tools to be better than howard. And have as great an impact on the game as howard. For as great as d12 is he gets pushed around on the block and isn’t a traditional C he’s a hybrid. Avg. only 20 pts. he should be in the 28 range. He has some flaws but has been the only good consistent C so it seems he’s miles ahead of Drew. When Bynum has gotten touches he’s produced

  15. Kevin: We have AB and he is supposed to be the #2 C in the league (bucking #1 says u); Kobe is 3rd best overall in the league per u (#1 per me); and Pau is supposed to be worth $16 mill a year and 3rd team All NBA. If all of those were true, U and I could play 1+3 and we would be better than we are. Somebody is over-rated and it ain’t Kobe.

  16. Aaron,
    Making definitive statements about Howard vs. Bynum really isn’t possible, at least offensively. They’re not asked to carry the same load nor do they play in similar offensive systems. That’s like comparing Al Harrington to Pau Gasol. One player is asked to do nearly everything for his team (Gasol) while the other is told to get buckets (Harrington). Effectiveness in those scenarios doesn’t really equate to better or worse a player when factoring in role.

    Also, when making definitive statements, wouldn’t be better to actually take into account circumstances before commenting? For example, lets say Bynum actually does see more double teams than Dwight (not that I believe that, but lets roll with it). I’d make the point that Bynum doesn’t deal with the double team nearly as well as Howard and thus it’s a more effective strategy vs Bynum. Drew, for all his growth in this area, still doesn’t read where the second defender is coming from as well as Dwight nor does he make as quick or on target a pass. Dwight’s simply more advanced in this area. Bynum should get to that level at some point as he deals with more double teams but he’s not there yet.

    Another thing: “Kobe got trapped in some pick and roll situations which is a main way to defend pick amd rolls.That isn’t called getting double teamed.” Uh, that’s not the “main way to defend the pick and roll”. The Lakers rarely trap the ball handler. The Nuggets rarely trap the ball handler. I didn’t see Goudelock getting double teamed every time he ran a P&R. I didn’t see Fisher getting double teamed when he ran the P&R. Kobe got double teamed b/c he’s Kobe Bryant. Because the Nuggets didn’t want the ball in his hands in the P&R and exposing the Nuggs defense. Another thing, Kobe was getting double teamed all over the floor. In the 2nd half, Karl ran the 2nd defender at Kobe nearly every time he caught the ball and was inside the three point line. This is actually Karl’s m.o. with Kobe as he’s done the same thing since the 2009 playoffs. Karl seems to be of the mindset that he’d rather have other Lakers beat him (which, based off playoff success and in losing 2 of 3 so far this year has happened).

  17. Kevin and Ray,
    One of the reasons Goudelock has been successful since Blake went down is because he hasn’t been playing SG but rather has been playing PG and had the ball in his hands to run P&R’s while facing like-sized defenders. Last night Corey Brewer guarded him some and Goudelock wasn’t as effective. But Brewer ended up being a liability on offense so Karl couldn’t keep that match up going. When Lawson guarded AG, he was able to work against a defender his size and was much more effective. When Blake returns it will be interesting what Brown decides to do b/c AG simply isn’t as effective as a SG. Before he started playing PG, he had a negative PER. That’s awful.

  18. Aaron,

    Darius made many good points, and the best example of what I am saying is the play in the highlight package that changes the score from 80-77 to 82-77 that is in the embeded video in the recap. Kobe gets doubled and throws a lob to Bynum–right over Nene. That also happens on a delayed break, when Gallinari loses Bynum, shades toward Kobe. Same thing–lob.

    Mozgov and Koufos were the primary guys on Bynum on the block, but the help guy down low was either Harrington or Nene, or a guard. So even double-teams couldn’t stop AB sometimes. My point was that:
    Nene is Denver’s best big and their biggest guy who plays heavy minutes, and he can’t handle Bynum. Harrington gets heavy minutes as well. Karl may need to change his MO, as Darius suggests and let Afflalo and Brewer deal with Kobe on their own.

    In the first game in Denver, Kobe had 6 TOs and 4 AST, went 6/28, and the Lakers ORTG was 92.5. Last night, he had 9 AST and 2 TOs, went 7/23, cut his 3s from 8 attempts to 4, and the Lakers ORTG went up to 102.2.

  19. Darius,

    Key point about Blake and Goudelock, and something that concerns me. Maybe play Blake at the 2? Or maybe play Fisher as the backup 2 with Goudelock?

  20. robinred,
    Long term (for this season, I mean) the best option may be playing Blake more with the starters and having Goudelock and Fisher share the court with Fish spotting up more. Blake has shown he’s also more comfortable with the ball in his hands while Fisher is the guy that’s seemingly okay doing either and whose best skill is still spotting up.

    On paper, that works but the issue of who guards who still comes up. In a lineup with Fisher/AG, the odds of a SG guarding AG go up exponentially and that may create more issues for him down the road. We’ll have to see, I guess but that’s my initial thought.

  21. Isn’t it amazing that just a little bit of additional offense (in this case from GLock) has made all the difference. The team just looks so much better since he’s gotten more minutes. Good job Mitch!

    I saw that the Wizards are shopping Blatche. Nice talent – huge head case. Let me pose this question to you all. It’s a given that the Lakers do not have significant talent outside of the Big 3. If the Wizards would be open to it the Lakers might get him for LO’s exception. There’s always a flaw if you buy low – but the Lakers have to take chances.

    We could play him off the bench and if he fits that would make Gasol expendable for other needs, eg PG/SF/picks.

    The rumors on ESPN indicate that DH will push his way to NJ. If so, we need a plan B and Gasol would need to be moved if the Lakers are thinking longer than this year.

  22. Yet another article in real gm. Looks like Kobe might have been the guy that caused Howard to discount L.A. Kobe told him that he wanted him to be the 3rd option and that he would be Kobe’s Tyson Chandler. Howard has stated that he won’t come to L.A to be a 3rd option and informed L.A that he will not sign there. So, what’s plan B?

  23. Robinred,
    One play or two does not a game make. There was also a play where Fisher drove the paint and passed the ball to Bynum for an open dunk. Does this mean Fisher allows Bynum to score easy points. Bynum dominated the game not because of how many points he scored but because how much attention he demanded off and on the ball the entire game. The guy was doubled and triple teamed on the catch. andante guess what? Denver has some of the best quality bigs in the league. If these guys can’t contain Bynum with double and triple teams nobody can! 🙂

    Can you give your thoughts on this please? I just don’t see what Robinred sees when watching that game. Kobe made a clue of passes to Bynum as he is the PG of the first unit and always has the ball in his hands. I also want to take back my complaints of the Kobe centric late game offense. I was wrong. Kobe has no choice but to dominate the ball when GLock isn’t on the court. There is nobody else to start the offense and he is a shooting guard who is gonna go for the kill. That’s why I will always love Kobe.

  24. Plan B PG for a PG

  25. Darius (16)
    Yes… It’s difficult to compare players but they all play in the NBA so it’s healthy and fun to do so. And yes… Most good players get trapped on pick and rolls by the nuggets. But I didn’t see Kobe getting doubled very often on isos. Maybe once or twice. Like how Gasol gets doubled occasionally. Big difference between the help that’s as sent to Bynum and the help that was sent to Bynum. Obviously you know that.

    Also… Great call on GLock. Many people don’t seem to realize that PGs have a tough time when being guarded by athletic bigger players. The fact he is going against guys his size is helping him a lot as it would any player. 100 percent agree.

  26. Good call from Darius on Goudelock. Being the primary ball-handler has helped, and it also seemed like he really struggled with the length of the 2’s guarding him. Forced him into awkward, off-balance fadeaways. Now he seems to have much better timing and balance on his shots.

    What to do when Blake comes back is a huge problem. I like Darius’s suggestion – I can’t think of too many backup 2’s in the league that could exploit Fish by posting him up. And Fish definitely has enough strength to handle 2’s. I don’t see any other way to get the 3 of them enough playing time. It’s one rotation experiment I hope Brown tries.

  27. Darius,
    Also I’m sure you were joking when saying Fisher doesn’t get trapped on pick and rolls. Obviously Fisher isn’t a good player and the Lakers don’t and can’t run pick and rolls with him. They wish they could. As for Bynum dealing with doubles. Yes. Bynum in the past had trouble dealing with all the defensive attention. But the last few games he has done very well. And I do take circumstances into consideration. Howard infamously is bad dealing with doubles and passing out of them. I’m surprised you have not heard that before or witnessed it for yourself. The Lakers won the championship because of that.

  28. I could not take that RealGM article seriously. Literally chuckled out loud as I was reading it. “According to a Source” will be the name of a Top 100 Silliest NBA Rumors of All-Time e-book. Now onto an actual Lakers problem..

    Drew must learn how to make teams pay for doubling him, pronto. He simply is not used to dealing with aggressive double teams. But even more importantly, Drew’s inconsistent rebounding efforts are his biggest fault as the largest starting center in the league. He rebounds with his sheer size/height most of the time, so most of his boards are not the result of intelligent positioning or hustle. If he had Kevin Love’s instincts, he would be stuffing the rebounding column with Dennis Rodman-type numbers every game.

  29. 28)
    Bynum is third in the league in rebounding. Whatever he is doing is working. When only Howard and Love are slightly ahead of you…. You’re doing something right. And if you use rebound rate which is a better statistic… Bynum is basically tied with Howard. And as far as dealing with double teams if you haven’t noticed Bynum is destroying them now. Not only hitting the right man but also battling through them for dunks and lay ups.

  30. Snoopy,
    Yes I agree. But do you think it’s really a tough decision? Dont you think we should obviously start Blake at PG and have GLock be the back up with Fisher as the back up SG to mix in with Kapono? I mean when Fisher was in his prime he was playing back up SG for the Jazz. In a traditional offense I think that’s the perfect spot for him.

  31. Blatche?

    Three reasons why the Lakers shouldn’t trade for Blatche:

    1. The Lakers want to maximize caproom for 13-14, the season after the contracts of kobe, pau, artest, and blake expire. Because his contract still has 4 yrs on it, Blatche’s salary would eat into valuable capspace.

    2. Our trade assets should be used to upgrade the point guard position or accumulate more 1st round picks, not wasted on a back-up for Pau.

    3. Blatche.

  32. Aaron – I don’t necessarily think it’s a tough decision. My concern is what Brown thinks. I guess after seeing Fish at the point for so many years, I’m not sure if Brown would consider using Fish as a backup 2 too radical. But I hope not, I’m holding out hope that Goudelock can be a real aggressive spark off the bench with enough PT. Good point about Fish in Utah.

    If Goudelock can do what he did last night consistently – dribble drives and beautiful teardrops in the lane, to complement his shooting – then he could very quickly surpass the Eddie House label we were talking about a few days ago.

  33. I have not seen an interesting Plan B yet. I am still all in on Plan A. I have several weeks left to dream. Please come up with Plan B by then. : )

  34. (30)(26) I agree. Fisher at backup 2 would be a natural way to continue taking advantage of Goudelock’s scoring contributions when Blake returns. That’s what Sloan did at Utah with Derek and Deron, and it worked well.

  35. One reason why our Good Luck player is open because opposing team are more concerned on Kobe and Bynum so the double team is alternately packed on those two players. They’re not too familiar with the rookie so they let him get his luck. Unfortunately, GLuck is not afraid to show his potentials and accelerated magnificently, he could avoid double teaming if he passes the ball immediately then go for a set up shot or keep moving without the ball. As I said, his guard will have a tendency to look for Kobe because the mini-mamba remains a secret weapon of the Lakers.

    Michael H., I also read a rumor on DH tweets that Kobe messed up his joining with the Lakers etc., dunno whether this is just another ploy. You see all these guys are teammates in the Olympics and have formed a brotherhood pact during the lockout, they’re playing with these GM’s, the NBA league by sending jokes and signals with each other to deflect media rumors. Deep in DH heart, he wants to come to LA, his fiancee is in LA and the most obvious reason, Kobe will not be here forever. So why would 3rd option be a problem? There are two needs there a ring and Lakers needs new Stars to replace Kobe. I believe only a recalcitrant Jim Buss who would prevent DH from coming to LA, I heard that they removed Bynum from the trade offer instead get Pau or nothing. How in the world can we pay two Centers? There is also a report that Mitch K is not that not happy with Jim Buss due to the termination of his long timed staff like Ron Lester, Ed Gatchiturenas and others.

  36. Aaron,
    I was joking in as much as you were by stating that trapping the ball handler in a P&R is a standard way to play that action and that when that player is trapped it’s not a double team.

    So, by taking you seriously, I’m trying to show examples when a player was not trapped in a P&R. I mean, if that’s a standard way, they should do it to everyone, right? Or are they only trapping Kobe because, you know, he’s Kobe Bryant and pretty damned dangerous? Which, coincidentally is the same argument you make for Bynum being double teamed (the fact that he too is, you know, dangerous when playing in the post). That is your argument, right?

  37. No. If you read the back and forth with Robinred his argument is Bynum dominated mainly because Kobe got so much defensive attention. I said that was obviously not the case. And I do think trapping on pick and rolls for some coaches is a “standard” way to cover good players in pick and rolls.

  38. Robert, Our big 3 are not overrated. I think Kobe is Kobe. Pau is a top 3 PF and Drew is #2 and still growing as a player. I have had to come around to the fact guys are learning a new system with no practice. Culture is changed in Lakerland when your used to doing something (the triangle) a certain way for 5+ years then your thrown together in choatic fashion with the lockout it could be tough to adjust.

    Now your seeing everyone playing to their potential and have a feel for what’s going on a little more. I really think it’s kind of a Miami situation like last year with far less practice time. PJ always said assess a team 20 games in now they seem to be pushing in the right direction.

  39. Darius,
    Just like some coaches decide to go under the screen some coaches like Mike Brown has his bigs often “show” out on the screen which is basically trapping. What happens is most PGs are too small to keep the ball when a big shows out and has to get rid of it. With Kobe he is tall enough to hold onto it and wait amd read the defense even with a big on him. So he holds it and holds it and waits to see who he should pass it too. So it appears the defense is different because Kobe holds it longer when the big shows and goes over the pick.

  40. …Sorry for all the posts but mynipad won’t let me edit right now. Basically when the big shows most PGs either splits the two defemders or tries to dribble around the big. Kobe used to do that when he was hunger and more athletic. But now he often just stands pat and allows for both players to crowd him not fearing their length to get in the way of him making the proper pass.

    And I hope you get the sense that when I discuss basketball with you I’m not being condicending. With you and many others on the site I have great respect with your basketball knowledge. I agree with 99 percent of your takes. That’s pretty good.

  41. Key operating word is “inconsistent”. Drew goes through peaks and valleys in terms of his performance on the glass.

    Given Drew’s size advantage and skill set, 12 boards a game should be his ‘valley’ and his average should be closer to 15. In question is his focus and effort put into dominating the boards.

  42. “On paper, that works but the issue of who guards who still comes up. In a lineup with Fisher/AG, the odds of a SG guarding AG go up exponentially and that may create more issues for him down the road.”

    It will create problems as the opposing SG can give him more space outside and close out with the relative extra length, and also cut down the penetration by giving him the space outside. This is where an improved Ebanks would help mightily, since if he was the SG, he would have to be picked up by his opposite owing to his length. To date, he has been the biggest disappointment, since not only would his height give Glock the matchup he needs, what with Barnes and Murphy having the ability to play away from the basket, Ebanks would have more room to post up the opposing SG.

  43. Bynum is not “destroying” double teams. He has gotten slightly better at dealing with them.

  44. … And what is considered a standard double team in the NBA is when a team sends a second player to a guy in a one on one situation. In a pick and roll there are two offensive players and two defensive players in the exact same area so NBA teams don’t technically call it a double team as the second defender is already there. Much like a “trap” near the baseline it’s a result of spacing and where players are on the court. But I don’t need to tell you this. You already know.

    You’re a hundred percent right. If DFish and GLock were in the same backcourt the SG would be guarding Fish as the other team would not have to worry about guarding Derek.

    When a player goes through or around double teams for dunks it’s called destroying double teams in my book.

  45. Sloppy,
    I obviously meant the SG would be guarding GLock of course nay bad for the typo.

  46. Aaron,
    When two players stay guarding a single player, that’s a double team. If the team’s defensive philosophy is to hedge and recover, then the second defender will leave the ball and recover to either his man or to the player he’s supposed to rotate to. What you’re describing is the 2nd defender staying with Kobe after he pulls back his dribble. This is a double team (or a trap). There’s simply not a situation where the 2nd defender stays with a player that is not a double team.

  47. Avidon,
    I agree Bynum can be better on the boards. But I wouldn’t call this his valley either. I think Drew is very good… But I don’t think he is that good where at his worst he is averaging the same amount of rebounds Shaq did for the Lakers which is what he is currently doing. Maybe everyone has higher expectations for Drew than I do I guess. The guy will never be a Shaq, Hakeem, or Kareem. He has the tools to be a Eiwing at his best. And that’s pretty damn good if he can get there.

  48. Darius,
    Haha. I see what you’re saying trust me. It’s obviously semantics but I just think a more accurate description and the description coaches use is a “trap”. But I know we both agree we practically agree on this.

  49. link anyone?

  50. It really is weird seeing our players through other’s eyes…

    If we listen to Aaron- Bynum is Destroying all double teams and making the correct decision on every single double! That’s not what I see when I watch him play. He makes plenty of mistakes and is often completely stymied by double teams.

  51. What does Brown see in Murphy? Bad defense and line drive shots?

  52. 50)
    And that is fine. And you’re right. Unless you count the last four games he has played. In that case you’re completely wrong of course if you’re me, or Darius, and every player. But we might all be wrong. But I don’t think that is likely.

  53. Ken)
    All Brown sees in Murphy is his shot. Amd that’s all he has. Amd he is shooting above 40 percent this year from three. Not bad for a PF.

  54. Kobe looking for a foul call on the made FG and gets a technical instead.

  55. Aaron he is also averaging most fouls per minute played and gives up Fisher like points on defense.

    How does that even out?

  56. Aaron- If you want to say the guy is playing much better over the last 4 games then say that. But don’t make crap up. He doesn’t make the right play every time and he certainly doesn’t beat double teams as much as you are intimating.

    He sometimes struggles more than he should for a guy that size to pass out/over double teams. He holds the ball too long and gets trapped.

    You have done the same exact friggen thing with Derek Fisher over the years. He has played bad, sometimes comically so, but you often take this crap to the extreme. You don’t have to do that to make a point and you don’t have to exaggerate in either direction.

  57. Points in the paint in first quarter Lakers 14 Jazz 18

  58. i know we need spacing but is it worth it for Murphy’s D

  59. AG is clearly not a point guard.

  60. Murphy might be hitting threes, but that is the only positive thing he is doing. He is the human personal foul right now, and there is no excuse for failing to even draw iron on a layup attempt without a defender on him

  61. i must say Bynum does have delightful hands for his size

  62. Putting Murphy and Kapono on the court at the same time makes no sense. Unless it dancing with the stars slow waltz time.

  63. I’m sorry but Kapono is not a NBA calibur player anymore. Ebanks needs to take his minutes

  64. i think we can safely say McRoberts would have dunked that

  65. Ken,
    Haha. I agree with you. But I think it might even out. Only because that second unit is about creating space for Bynum and making defenses pay for swarming him. Btw… Whats the over/under on days till Bynum has a big knee injury? We have now entered that awesome experience when Andrew Bynum is healthy and gets in game shape and dominates the league like he is Wilt. Enjoy it while it lasts. He will go down within the next two weeks.

  66. Aaron,
    He hasn’t shown that he can consistently beat the double teams. Doing it part of the time does not qualify as “destoying.”

  67. I hate watching World Bad. He is plan bad. Another zero point game for Mr. Bad.

  68. Btw… I’m on the whole game tonight baby. My GF gave me the night off. Well… Until after the game is over. This is what I call a great Saturday night :). I’ll be here all night. Sorry.

  69. 64)
    Sorry dude. Your argument doesmt fly. It would if you said he doesmt always destroy double teams. But as we were talking about the last 4 games it is called destroying double teams. The last 4 games he has destroyed double teams. Doing what only two other players have been able to do the last 15 years. That’s power through double teams and finish in the paint. Shaq and Dwight Howard. That’s it the last 15 years. Eiwing was the last player other than those guys that could do that with power under the basket. That’s it.

  70. I say we all appreciate what Bynum is doing. These type of players sadly don’t come along very often anymore. To watch Kobe battle every min of every game for 16 straight years is awe inspiring. His focus and drive is something to beautiful. Forget about his skills and his Afro Kobe athletisism. I say we focus on winning a championship but also enjoy the rare players we have on this team. Really appreciate them. Is Kobe a perfect player? Of course not. Is Andrew a perfect player? Of course not. I wish he jumped like Dwight and moved like Shaq. But he has a Duncan like akward athletism that is gorgeous. Enjoy it Lakers fans because he might not be standing upright within the month or could be dream shaking to the hall of fame for another team. Just enjoy it.

  71. @ 63, Aaron:

    Certainly hope not cause judging from these last 2 games (last night and 2nite), looks as if he’s finally in ‘NBA Game Shape’ .. I’m even seeing some (not all) of the athleticsm that he displayed b4 all of the Leg Injuries.

  72. Aaron- You will always be comedic relief if nothing else.

  73. What a nice pass by Bynum to Gasol for the dunk.

  74. truly a 3 man offense at the mo

  75. How can you have two guys like Fisher and Metta on your starting team who shoot like my 7 year old son. How long is Mitch going to wait to improve this team as teams like the Clippers keep getting better with more new players.


  76. mike brown put in some subs for goodness sake this isn’t foxcon.

  77. Ken,
    I don’t like how you group Artest in the same category as Fisher. Fisher can’t do anything on offense. At least Artest can post up and pass and get offensive rebounds. But yes… They both can’t shoot a lick.

  78. My god Fisher and World are not professional basketball players. Layups, 3 footer, 15 footer it doesn’t matter they brick everything.

    How can people continue to defend these guys.
    Starters averaging 5 point a game shooting 30%.

  79. this is ludicrous, there is no justification for Murphy being out there

  80. James,
    Murphy can shoot. That’s one justification.

  81. let’s go, team!

  82. I’d rather see Luke in rather than Kapono. If he’s not making shots he shouldn’t be on the floor

  83. Btw. You are seeing exactly why some might want these one dimensiooinal shooters in the game. They can’t even get the ball into Drew. Not enough space.

  84. lets be honest guys, Murphy or McRoberts, Kapono or Walton, Artest or Barnes, Fisher or Blake, we’re practically splitting hairs, they are all well below average players

  85. Darius,
    Darius Morris was “double teamed” on his one pick and roll of the season 😉

  86. Was that Phil Jackson;)

  87. Mike Brown is a clueless potato. #fired

  88. Sorry but this team is has no chance of finishing better then 5th. Brown is a fool. He should be suspended.

    Fisher 2 points
    Metta 2 points.

    What in the world is Mitch doing? Nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing.

  89. some coach we have

  90. Coach Mike Brown what are you doing getting tossed from the game? He was mad at something. This game is getting away from the Lakers.

  91. For the second straight night, the refs are taking control of the game.

  92. Lakers suck

  93. Good job, Mike Brown. You fired the team up!

    Oops, wrong team.

    Thanks for pumping up the home crowd.

  94. Looks like the NBA assigned the same referee crew as last night for all 6 games of this road trip. Pathetic.

  95. I have a sinking feeling that with this sudden series of non-calls in the 4th, a Jazz player is going to get violently taken down in retaliation.

  96. This is what a core meltdown is like, in basketball.

  97. Lakers- 1 point in the first 5 minutes of the 4th quarter, horrible….just horrible

  98. this is the 2nd game in a row the lakers are getting no respect from the officials.

    WTH hell was mike brown doing it was a 5 pt game

  99. Coach Brown showing frustration with the officiating. This has been percolating since last night’s game.

  100. Mike Brown and his vand of unknown coaches have lost their minds and show no class.

    Brown needs to go he shows no leadership and is embarrassing the Laker uniform and the city of LA.

    Fire this fool now.

  101. So the refs just decided the Jazz were winning this one eh? Where amazing happens, indeed.

  102. Mike Brown has to be fired. He has no idea how to run offense. No plays on either end of the court.

  103. I don t want to be obvious but you don t value enough what you have till you loose it.
    LA Lakers mustn t have a coach clueless in the offensive end and with this luck of education and/or intelligence

  104. These refs look bad… But not paid off like last night. I can deal with this. Utah should not take a timeout. Watch Kobe get rest and then knock down two more threes.

  105. Is there a conspiracy against the Lakers? No.

    Does the officiating in the fourth quarter of this game and the last game, unfortunately, feed the narrative that there is? No doubt.

    At a certain point, some of these crews have to get fined or suspended for being this bad.

  106. Right now I question Brown’s ability to coach any team in a major market.

    I actully am a bit ashamed when our coach is trying to fight the refs.

  107. Bynum with his bad play of the night. Bynum has to know all they can do is catch and shoot. Lazy.

  108. that sums things up, up Kapono wide open to make it a 3 point game….

  109. Ken: u are focussed on MWP, Fish, and MB with your crticism. Can u humor me and comment on Kapono a little? Thanks

  110. Fisher might be the king of needlessly doubling someone in the post

  111. Well, that was a dumb loss.

    I blame this one on Brown – rarely do coaches lose their composure so much that it fires up the other team and at the same time gives the other team the ability to extend a 5 point lead to 8 without the Jazz having to do anything.

    And we did manage to make Earl Watson look like an all star while he had a sprained ankle.

    Sad performance.

  112. Lakers need a lot of help. Our SF and PG play just isn’t cutting it. Please Mitch do something.

  113. I’m sorry, but we gave this one away. Awful performance in the 2nd half. Bottom line is that this game still comes down to putting the little orange round ball in the basket. Make a freakin shot!

    And Kapono is worthless…

  114. Coach Brown needs to be fired for standing up for his team on what he probably feels has been 1-sided officiating over the last 2 nights? Talk about over-reaction!! Kats cry about bad calls against us over these last 2 gms and when our coach steps us for his players all of a sudden he should be whacked!!

  115. Hey anomymous: Please be patient give them like 30 more games to get this together

  116. Kobe can’t do it by himself.Amnesty everyone!

  117. Please Brown just resign. So should Jim Buss.

  118. The play of the game was Kapono missing the open corner three that would have made it a three point game. The theme of the game was PGs!!!! Of course. The only game our only PG (GLock) who plays (Morris doesnt play) isn’t effective we can’t score again. It’s pretty obvious the Lakers can’t play Fisher at PG for this team. We can’t rely on GLock alone everytnight to carry us at that position. Not in today’s PGs Are Us League.

  119. Ken, What a meltdown by Brown huh?

    You have to be dying of laughter right about now..

    It was a 5 pt. game and Mike brown cost us the game

  120. Zirk: Yes – how is Kapono in the NBA?

  121. Lakers need to trade everybody except Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Goudelock, Blake, Barnes. Everybody else should go to the D League.

  122. This is what you get when you have 3 good players and a bunch of minimum contract players and players who have minimum talent making 3,4,5,6 million dollars. The lakers suck offensively and are overrated defensively. I say they are overrated because the lakers have failed to get stops when they needed them this entire season.

    It’s telling when lakers go straight to crap when their back up pg gets hurt and then their 4th best player is a 2nd round draft pick. The reason why the lakers roster is full of no talent cast aways is because the front office is afraid to take risk. 2 years ago mcgrady was available and wanted to be a laker yet they pass on him. This is at most at 36-38 win team that may miss the playoffs.

  123. HOpster: Glad u changed that to D League. U don’t think anyone wants any of those others in a trade do u?

  124. the big 3 had over 80% of our points, the rest of them were 6/25. This disparity is not going to get better, trades are the only option

  125. I’m not a fan of this stat but on a night where GLock plays very poorly I couldn’t resist.

    Fisher -12
    GLock +2

  126. That ejection seemed to be Mike brown trying to earn the players respect

    He already proved his point when he got a T. Then gave a little bit extra for the ejection.

    PJ wouldn’t have got up from the chair

  127. Utah Bench 49 Laker Bench 12

    ball game…

  128. For all those Laker fans with the rose colored glasses, this is reality.

    Worst starting point guard in the league.2 points
    Worst starting SF in the NBA. 2 points

    Worst bench filled with players no one else wants

    A coach from a small market team in Cleveland with a unstoppable player who should never be hired with a history like ours. Riley and Jackson must ge laughing their heads off.

    This is a 6th, 7th or 8th seed and one and out while Mitch and Jimmy sit and do nothing.


  129. Looking forward to tomorrow’s discussion !!! I have a feeling it won’t be about Goudelock’s minutes.

  130. If nobody other then the big 3 can score double digits consistently, then this team is doomed. Im not sure this team can make the playoffs with a .500 record.

  131. Robert,
    You know what? I have to admit that I was actually pleased at first when they signed Kapono before the season because I was hoping he would be the shooter that we’ve sorely lacked for years now. I must admit, I was wrong. But that also goes to show you how long it’s been since we’ve had a deadly shooter if I was thinking Kapono would be the savior!

  132. Lakers 4th Q probably qualifies as the bad and ugly for the game recap. Jazz outscored Lakers by 12 (52-40) in the paint. Lakers bench outscored 49-12 by Utah.
    Grammy Trip now 1-1. On to Philadelphia.

  133. Kevin I am not laughing. I am ashamed.

    That’s what you get when you make a video tape operator the coach of a iconic team in a major city.

    Well jimmy saved $8 million without Phil and $9 million without LO. That’s17 million worth if race horses he can buy

  134. OK – I am waiting for Plan B : ) Problem is that I think Mitch is waiting for that as well. We are halfway into the nightmare I wrote about a while ago.

  135. Ken, its easy. We amnesty Brown.

  136. That wide open three by kapono hurt. Now I see why he didn’t play in Philly last year. He can’t play

    Troy Murphy is the same washed up guy we saw in Boston last year.

    It was a tough b2b you could see our big 3 were tired and no one could pick them up.

  137. Great and make Fisher the coach. Gets him off the floor and way more respect then Brown will ever have.

  138. I miss Lamar…

  139. Lamar in Brown’s system would not fit anyway. He’d have guys running around like headless chickens.

  140. Yeah, like mcroberts and Troy is working for browns system.

  141. Kapono + Murphy played 32 minutes combined, went 0-5, 2 rebs, 1 dime. That is hard to do.

  142. This is spoiled milk, but I don’t understand why lamar wouldn’t have fit. If anything in a such perimeter oriented offense the lakers would have been able to play odom, bynum, and gasol together. He’s way better than murphy, mcroberts,artest, and kapono combined. The lakers sorely miss his rebounding and ability to create his own shot.

    not to mention he was a pretty decent 3 point shooter.

  143. No. If you read the back and forth with Robinred his argument is Bynum dominated mainly because Kobe got so much defensive attention


    Nope. I said Bynum played well because Denver doesn’t match up with him, and because Kobe did a good job of finding him–unlike the previous game in Denver. Part of the reason Kobe had to find him was that Karl was throwing doubles at him, as Darius pointed out.

  144. I’m cool with the Brown ejection, he had to stand up for the team which is getting killed by the refs the past two games. Gasol got mugged on that play and gets no respect from the refs generally so I think that was a good time to make a point.

  145. Seems we need to make a list of everyone’s favorite whipping boys. This thread provides everything I’d need to make that happen.

  146. Kobe answering questions after the Utah game said they (Lakers) are an old and slow team and Philadelphia is a young and energetic team after being asked about Monday’s game. This will be a very tough game for the Lakers.

  147. Aaron,

    My argument was that Drew played well against Denver because they don’t match up with him and because Kobe, drawing attention on D, did a better job of finding him. It was not some superhumn step forward on Bynum’s part.

  148. If u think this can’t get worse – it can get much worse. I think Kobe is doing the same thing many of us r. He is waiting until after the ASG to see what happens. If nothing does, he is going to boil over. Adding a mediocre PG will not prevent the KB explosion. We have til 3/15 to save this franchise. Don’t tell me I am panicking, because I have been saying this since pre-season ; )

  149. The biggest shame of the Lamar trade is all the bigs that have been lost for months to injury. We certainly could have landed some quality help in a trade. Zach Randolph’s injury might have led to possiblely getting O.J Mayo. Horford going down might have landed us Hinrich etc. But hey we have that valuable TPE!!!

  150. I think McRoberts needs some burn of for no other reason than to give Pau and Drew some rest.

    I agree with Darius. Assuming no trades, Blake should start when he comes back and Goudelock and Fisher should play off the pine, with Fisher at the 2.

  151. Aaron,

    We may disagree on some things, but 120 is on the money.

  152. A lot of people blame Mike Brown. But lets face it the lakers haven’t been this devoid of talent since 2005. Every body knows what each player has to offer so i won’t get into that. But what I do see is the role players having lots of open looks and they just can’t knock them down. What is MB supposed to do or say when you have a team full of players that can’t make open shots. If players are getting open shots then MB has done his job.

    The reason why the nuggets, philly, indiana are competitive despite not having any superstars or bonafide all stars is because they have a lot of guys who can just make a shot if they get ball.

  153. I am from Philly so I see a lot of the Sixers. They are FAST, AGGRESSIVE, and PLAY HARD. Not an elite team, but they may blow this Laker team off the court on Monday if the Lakers play the way they normally have on the road this season. Sixers will blow you out if you don’t bring it, they got the highest point differential in the league. Lakers BETTER come prepared!

  154. Michael

    It’s no longer about being tbe best. That’s why Mitch us quitting. Phil left. Jimmy only seems to care about saving money. Get a coach on the cheap as opposed to $12 for Phil. Find a reason for either trading or dumping Odom’s contract to safe $9. million. Don’t bring on any new contracts while Clippers keep getting better.

    Buss is satisfied with smoke and mirrors. 3 good players to keep the seats filled and a bunch of garbach on the bench and 40% of your starters.

    It’s almost as if the Lakers are turning into the Dodgers with a great fan base but ownership who only cares about making money.

  155. OK so . . . big 3 did what they were supposed to imo. Pau took quite a bit of banging tonight and that non-call was absolutely heartbreaking. Mike Brown was kind of justified for blowing up – if that call had been made, the game would have been different. Coach wouldn’t have been ejected and the Lakers might have won. Officiating sucked but can’t deny that Jason Kapono missed that wide-open 3

  156. Joel: Agreed – the problem is the roster. MB is not helping, but he is also not root cause. I remember the time period when McR, Murphy, and Kapono were all in street clothes when Kobe was playing 40+ mins. I said they were bad news then, and this is now confirmed. They are worthless. Their stat lines look like misprints.

  157. Sharky H Towers February 4, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    What 120 said. The only reason the Lakers pay Kapono and we as fans deal with his abysmal play is for him to hit THAT 3.

    It was a confidence miss as well. Bad sign.

    And people, please stop blaming the 3 good players this team has. This bench is atrocious.

  158. This game sort of showed what people meant when they used the term “no margin for error.” Pau and Drew did a lot of good things, but had issues on D and on the glass since Utah has 4 pretty good bigs to throw at them. Kobe was just meh for him, but he didn’t overshoot, so people can’t really blame that.

    But the roster is so weak 4-9 that it puts enormous pressure on Kobe, Pau and Drew. All of the 4-9 guys will play well from time to time–like Aaron said, no one is bad every game. But over the long haul, having guys like Murphy, Fisher, Kapono, MWP etc. playing heavy minutes is going to drag you down towards .500.

  159. (Sigh) The Lakers have turned into the Dodgers.

    Kershaw/Kemp = Kobe/Gasol/Bynum

    No one else on either team.

  160. Don you took my comment that is held in moderation for honesty I guess.

    It’s now all about the green not about the fans..

  161. We need some guys who can create their own shot and can actually score. J.R. Smith anyone?

  162. Bynum needs to devote as much energy to defense as he puts into his offensive game. I’ll give him a pass for last night, because he looked gassed, but he needs to get more involved with the dirty work aspect of the game.

    That Kapono miss in the 4th q was huge.

    I think the main reason that Brown went so far off the deep end is that Watson ran up Pau’s leg when he fouled him making his key “steal”. Pau was lucky he wasn’t hurt.

    Lakers are in a tough situation. The lack of team speed and athleticism is exposed on just about every night. Their big advantage of Gasol’s and Bynum’s length and size can also work against them on the defensive end where both bigs are slow-footed.

    Can’t understand why Coach Brown doesn’t give Ebanks more of a chance. Metta has fallen off the face of the earth as a basketball player. If the Lakers can’t get some productivity from players other than their Big 3, it’s going to be a long, long season and an extremely short ( or maybe non-existent) post-season.

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